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By Rady Ananda

December 19, 2005

ODP Picks Redfern as New Chair: Chris Redfern, who defended both fired Bernadette Noe and indicted Tom Noe (both GOP operatives), just won the highest seat in the Ohio Democratic Party.  Stephanie Tubbs Jones and elder stateswoman Mary Rose Oakar contested the election procedure, without success.

Redfern Backs Corrupted Noes; Wins ODP Party Chair Seat

Columbus, OH: Christopher Redfern (Ohio Rep.-D), who defended both fired Bernadette Noe and indicted Tom Noe (both GOP operatives), just won the highest seat in the Ohio Democratic Party. After much procedural wrangling between candidate Dennis Lieberman supporters and Redfern supporters, the Ohio Democratic Party held the election of ODP Chair tonight, immediately prior to the annual holiday party.

Procedural controversy erupted at the ODP election because Lieberman supporters wanted a paper ballot (and, thus, a secret vote). US Rep Stephanie Tubbs Jones supported this procedure, and former US Rep Mary Rose Oakar commented, “There’s a lot of intimidation in this room.� Other Central Committee members stood and reported having received office calls from gubernatorial candidate,Ted Strickland, who endorsed Redfern.

The majority, including Franklin County Commissioner and Congressional candidate Mary Jo Kilroy, overturned the paper ballots idea and required voting members to physically stand for their candidate. The majority also decided to hold the election quickly, without grassroots input.

Last month, the Ohio Honest Elections Campaign called for five forums to be held around the State so that candidates for ODP Chair could be interviewed before the May primaries. Apparently not big on democracy, Redfern supporters behaved as if a longer election process and a secret vote might yield a different winner.

Before the vote, anti-Redfern activists circulated a flyer stating that “Chris Redfern defended the King and Queen of Ohio corruption – Tom and Bernadette Noe.”

Redfern’s Ties to Ohio’s Culture of Corruption

Bernadette Noe (former GOP County Chair) was among three Lucas County elections board members fired after the November 2004 election. Redfern complained to Secretary of State Blackwell that “Ms. Noe is a capable and reliable public servant” last April after she was fired over gross failings during the 2004 election.

Redfern also likes Bernadette’s husband. “Tom Noe is a respected Republican leader who appears to have been successful in investing in rare coins,” said Chris Redfern to the Toledo Blade. [1] Tom Noe was indicted in October for illegal campaign contributions. Under his rare coin schemes, $13 million in Bureau of Workers Comp. funds have gone missing. [2]

Ohio Governor Bob Taft was convicted of accepting secret contributions from Noe and others. [3]

The Ohio Democratic Party is now headed by a man tied to these Republican thieves. His wife is Bernadette Noe’s cousin. [4] Democrats had hoped to win 06 seats on the frame, “Vote against the Culture of Corruption.” But with the party hijacked by apparent DINOs (Democrats in name only), hope for full prosecution of Ohio’s corrupted officials is discouragingly doused.

How a man acting as an Ohio House Rep. and the Minority Leader expects to have time to run the ODP is baffling to grassroots Democrats. The ODP office is rarely open, and looks to remain that way. The offices aren’t even wheelchair accessible, according to candidate Steve Reece. “How can you call yourselves the inclusive party without being inclusive?” Reece is an African-American who received one vote, from his daughter who is also a Central Committee member.

The Ohio Democratic Party Report Card

Looking at the Ohio Democratic Party bloopers over the past year, one has to wonder about anyone supporting or defending the status quo:
* The Lucas County Democratic Party had its computers stolen in October 04. [5]
* Outgoing ODP Chair, Denny White, had his office computers stolen in July 05. [6]
* Outgoing ODP Chair, Denny White (a former Republican) was placed on the Franklin County Board of Elections, with a $10,000 raise in salary (now earning $96,000). [7]

* Franklin County Dem Party Chair, Bill Anthony, defended Matt Damschroder’s acceptance of a $10,000 Diebold bribe. [8] (Diebold is the main voting machine vendor in Ohio. It’s machines have been hacked in public demonstrations before Boards of Election in Florida and California. [9])

The losing tactics of the Ohio Democratic Party are still firmly in place; the status quo was successfully entrenched with the selection of Chris Redfern as ODP Chair.

The ODP needs a full-time, in-town executive, with the doors unlocked and the offices running Monday thru Friday, 9-5, at the minimum. It seems Ohio Democrats will have to wait a little longer for a leader who champions grassroots causes, rather than convicted election thieves.

Notes:

1. James Drew and Mike Wilkenson, Democrats Call for State Probe over Coin Funds, April 4, 2005, Toledo Blade,http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200504…. To view a photo of the famous Noes, and to learn more details of the Noe Coingate scandals, go to http://www.ohiohonestelections.org/index.php?p=republican-th…

2. Peter Slevin, Ohio Scandals May Give Democrats a Lift – Republicans’ Standing In Key State Endangered, Nov. 27, 2005; Page A05 Washington Post, http://tinyurl.com/dv485 or
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11…

3. Sandy Theis and TC Brown, Taft Convicted, Fined, Aug. 19, 2005, Cleveland Plain Dealer,http://www.cleveland.com/taft/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/ne…

4. Ctrl F to find ‘cousin’ at http://www.ohiohonestelections.org/index.php?p=republican-th…

5.Robin Erb, Thieves hit Democratic Party Offices, Oct. 13, 2004, Toledo Blade,http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200410…

6. Steve Eder and James Drew, Ohio Democrats Victims of Break-In, July 2, 2005, Toledo Blade,http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200507…

7. Joe Hallet, Ohio Democratic Party needs a strong chairman if it is to rebound, Dec. 4, 2005, the Columbus Dispatch,http://www.dispatch.com/emailme/emailme.php?story=dispatch/2…

8. Doug Caruso, Joe Hallett and Robert Vitale, Vendor’s donation questioned –
Diebold rep gave $10,000 to county GOP, July 16, 2005, the Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com/election.php?story=dispatch/2005/07/…

9. http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

From Free Press.

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